The weekend where Chelsea returned to form
Premier League Round-up
Fulham’s new Russian sensation, Pavel Pogrebnyak, signed on loan on transfer deadline day has more than filled the void left by former favourite Bobby Zamora. Scoring five goals from his first five shots on target, the former Zenit and Stuttgart big man looks to have all the qualities to succeed in the Premier League.
Unsurprisingly Lee Cattermole was the first player booked in the pulsating Tyne-Wear derby yesterday. His lunge on fellow midfield destroyer Cheick Tiote earned him a yellow after an impressive 20 seconds. Not content with only receiving a yellow the Sunderland captain even managed to ‘talk’ his way into a red card after the match had finished. Capped 16 times at under-21 level, the product of Middlesbrough’s academy looks miles away from a full cap that boss Martin O’Neil suggested earlier in the season.
Mario Balotelli risked the wrath of City boss Roberto Mancini after being photographed leaving a Liverpool strip club less than 48 hours before their game with Bolton. Strict disciplinarian Mancini has reportedly issued the maximum fine following Balotelli’s latest misdemeanour. City inevitably cantered to a 2-0 victory over Owen Coyle’s men, with the 47 year old Italian adding that “maybe if he goes to bed earlier, maybe he scores three goals. Maybe he missed four goals for this reason.”
Roman Abramovich ensures that Chelsea lurch from one short-term crisis to another as Andre Villas Boas departs after just nine months in charge. AVB has taken the flak for a series of poor performances and his ‘project’ to overhaul the Chelsea squad remains unfinished. Frank Lampard and company escape victorious after Villas Boas dared to challenge their status and role in the Chelsea team.
Manchester United’s victory over Spurs was another classic United and Ferguson result, with the reds returning to Manchester with a 3-1 win despite being outplayed for the first 60 minutes of the match. As we enter squeaky bum time United still possess that regular habit of playing below par, yet still taking all three points. That they have done so on such a regular occurrence for the last 10 years can be no coincidence and a testament to Sir Alex Ferguson and his teams.
At the start of the season this would have been one of the last words used to describe Arsene Wenger’s side but a slender 2-1 victory against Liverpool strengthens claims for a top four finish. Arsenal’s victory was reminiscent of United’s play over the years, being out of the game for huge swathes but having the killer instinct/Robin Van Persie to snatch all three points.
New Swansea signing Gylfi Sigurdsson hit two screamers to pile further misery on Wigan Athletic’s season. The former Reading and Hoffenheim man has taken instantly to the Premier League, backing up his impressive haul of 20 goals from midfield for Reading that prompted the German side to spend £8 million on the young Scandinavian. Keeping the on-loan Chelsea wonder kid, Josh McEachran, on the bench Sigurdsson has shown that he has the ability to play for one of the Premier Leagues leading clubs.
Another two Sigurdsson worldies: